Stay off the tracks and stay alert, rail police warn

Last year, seven were killed and 10 seriously injured in rail crossing, trespassing incidents

With spring arriving in the Fraser Valley, rail police say they will be out on patrol ensuring people are staying off railway tracks and only crossing where safe and legal to do so.

From cliff jumping to horsebackriding, fishing and hunting, Cst. Peter Talvio with the CN Police Service said he’s seen it all when it comes to people crossing and trespassing on railway property.

“Especially concerning are people that make the wrong decision to short cut through rail property to access their favourite recreational areas, walking along tracks, crossing yards, even climbing on, over or through parked trains,” a news release from CN Rail stated. “This is very dangerous as trains can move at any time and can result in serious injury or death.”

Across the province last year, seven people were killed and 10 were seriously injured in railway crossing and trespassing incidents.

As CN Police are out patrolling in communities, people not following these rules could be subject to a $115 ticket. Criminal charges and a fine of up to $50,000 are also possible.

To avoid fines and injuries, CN Rail urged people to stay off railway tracks and railway property. Trains travel as fast as 160 kilometres an hour and take around two kilometres to stop, CN Rail stated, the length of 18 football fields.

“A train hitting a car is like a car running over a pop can,” the rail company warned. “The average freight train weighs more than 5.5 million (kilograms). In comparison, a car weighs around 1,375 (kilograms).”

Anyone near the tracks should stay alert and keep their distance – modern trains are quiet, the rail company said, and can overhang the tracks by up to one metre on each side as well as sometimes carrying loads wider than the rail cars themselves.

People should only use designated railway crossings to get over the tracks, CN Rail stressed, and should obey all rail signs and signals including lights, bells and gates.

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